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Uganda trains EAC toxic chemical handlers

By Abou Kisige

Added 23rd November 2016 02:03 PM

The course was funded by the Government with technical support from the UK government, Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a United Nations agency and the Czech Republic.

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The course was funded by the Government with technical support from the UK government, Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a United Nations agency and the Czech Republic.

Government has trained 40 staff as a measure to curb and respond to any chemical attacks to the civilians within the East African region. The five-day training held at the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capacity Centre (URDCC) in Jinja district equipped the personnel with skills to plan, respond and manage toxic chemical emergencies.

"This course is very important in terms of protecting the nations within the East African Community against any attacks involving any chemical response generally," the Commandant of URDCC Brig. Gen. Steven Oluka said during the closure of the course yesterday November 22.

He said this training is aimed at helping respective governments to develop local expertise in emergency response for chemical incident and laboratory skills for the identification of chemical warfare agents.

The course was funded by the Government with technical support from the UK government, Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a United Nations agency and the Czech Republic.

They also handed over personal protective equipment (gas masks, overalls, protective suits, gloves, and boots with oxygen container on the back), detectors, sampling kit, decontaminants and live agents stimulants.

The training was attended by security and chemical experts from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi with facilitators from the UK and the OPCW technical secretariat in The Hague, the Netherlands.

State Minister for Labour Herbert Kabafunzaki said some of the chemicals that have potential threat include those used in petroleum industry to sweeten natural gas, separate and purify crude oil; pharmaceutical industries, cosmetics and detergents and other riot control agents; leather tanning and those used as flame retardant additive in the foam mattresses.

Kabafunzaki said Uganda has already domesticated the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and pledged to assist states parties to comply with their obligations of national protection programmes and the domestication of the CWC.

 

Uganda ratified the CWC on November 30, 2001. The obligation of the state's parties under the CWC is to prohibit the use and production of chemical weapons, as well as their destruction

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